The Gurus of Gold have spitballed their initial Best Picture predictions. The favorites are as follows: Birdman, Boyhood, Unbroken, Foxcatcher, Selma, Interstellar, Wild, Fury, Inherent Vice, The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Into the Woods, American Sniper, A Most Violent Year, Big Eyes, Mr. Turner, Exodus: Gods and kings, Men, Women & Children, St. Vincent, Rosewater, Trash. The ultimate hotties always (a) hold up a fair, honest mirror of some kind, (b) simultaneously comfort and challenge, and (c) say “this is who we are, could be, used to be or need to be.” I’m sensing that the standouts will be Birdman, Interstellar, Wild, Into The Woods, either Unbroken or The Theory of Everything but not both, and at least one of the violent male-realm dramas — A Most Violent Year, Fury, American Sniper. I don’t know what to expect from Selma — I just hope it’s thorough and nervy. Gone Girl is aiming to be what it needs to be and that’s all. It won’t be Unbroken vs. Fury (Angie vs. Brad working with World War II tales and settings) as much as Unbroken vs. The Theory of Everything (i.e., the hero fires up, goes through hell, endures, transcends a bit). Wild will sink or swim based not on the difficulty of Reese Witherspoon‘s long solo hike, but the angle and the color of the people she runs into. That’s enough for now. I still say the best films I’ve seen this year are Leviathan and Wild Tales.